A New Year

We are about to enter a new year and as we reflect on the past year and look forward to the coming one what things stand out?  Was it a year of personal growth and change, or was it the same old thing, and will the new year bring any change into our lives?  For most of us the year went by uneventfully and without much difference  from this year and the last.

I have begun to look at the years past and begun to change my way of thinking.  Maybe it is just that I am getting older, but I am beginning to want my life to count for something.  And as a result have begun to think about where I want my life to end up.  I have discovered that without a plan life will just sit and stale.  To quote a friend, without banks a river is just a swamp. 

And  so I have begun to think through my “banks” in life and change my way of  life.  And not to plan a destination, because life is about the journey, not the destination, but to begin to put a few road markers  in my path to guide my journey.  For without direction, we will simply wander aimlessly, as I have done for most of my life.  I have chosen to make life matter, and make my days mean something.  Instead of looking for eternal youth, like some will, I have chosen to follow Abraham Lincoln’s advice “In the end it is not the years in your life that matters, it is the life in your years”

So instead of New Years Resolutions, which many people make, but extremely few actually realize, I have begun to set some goals for things I would like to accomplish this year.  And after some prayer and considerable thought I have begun to walk a new path, giving life focus and direction.  It is something we  can all do, and something I would recommend.

The Church God Planned

Much of what we see today in our churches is not what God had planned when the church was called into existence.  Jesus said “I will build My church” and we have gone and done exactly what Paul said in Galatians 3:3 “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”  We have left God’s plan for the church and built our own empires instead.

The church was meant to first be in God’s presence, and then to go into all the world.  And we have gotten this all backwards.  We have gone and done all kinds of things and forgotten to first be with God.  Our churches are known by many things, including community service and many others, and this is not what God intended.  Jesus said to the church at Ephesus “I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance. I know that you cannot tolerate evildoers; you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them to be false.  I also know that you are enduring patiently and bearing up for the sake of my name, and that you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.”

God intended us to be with Him first before we ever ran out into the world.  And He is again calling us to that role.  God want’s us to be known for and marked by His presence.  To be like Peter and John, when they were before the Sanhedrin “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.”  The question before us is will we respond?

Sam Nunn, a former US senator, said “You have to pay the price.  You will find that everything in life extracts a price, and you will have to decide whether the price is worth the prize.”  And that is the choice before the church.  God is calling us to prepare the way for Him to restore the church to its proper place.  Our choice is whether we will make straight the path and follow Him or will we continue on our current course.  Every decision has a cost.  Will we pay now and play later, or play now and pay later.  Now is the time to prepare for God’s release.  If we don’t we will miss out on what God is doing now.  God will not force Himself on us.  Will we respond and open the door to Him and become the church He planned or continue to build according to our plans and purposes. We cannot have both.  The Spirit of God is moving seeking those who will respond to His call.  The decision is now ours to make.

Your destiny awaits

Every person born has a destiny.  Each of us was created with a purpose.  And no one is ever born a mistake.  We are all born planned, and purposed by God, and each of us was born, as the bible says, “for such a time as this.”

We are born in the time, location, family, and circumstance we were chosen for.  God has personally designed us for the season in which we live and no other.  The whole concept of bing born “in the wrong century” is completely wrong.  We were born for this time and for this season.  Unfortunately we tend to screw things up.  We have chosen to go our own way, and do what we “feel” is right for us, and we have totally screwed up our world, our families, and our lives.  God never intended us to live this way.  But our choices to live our way have led us to it.

We were chosen and designed by God and planned from before the world was formed.  Scripture says “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. “  And He chose us for a purpose.  Tbhe bible also states “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  Our chose is whether we live out our plans for our life, or discover and fulfil our destiny.

God designed each of us with a plan in mind.  “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  And we can never reach our destiny unless we connect with God.  A friend of mine says it this way, “We all have a unique song to sing, and only we can sing it, and the greatest tragedy is for us to die and the world never hears our song.”  We each have a purpose, song, and no one else can live it out for us.  And our song was meant to be sung in this time.  And most of us carry our song to the grave never having sung it, or even learning what our song is.

In order for us to find out our destiny we have to come to know personally the one who created us and planned us.  Without that we can never know the reason why we are here.  Only as we come to know our creator will we come to know and fulfil our destiny.  There is no other way.  To put this in familiar terms, this is Christianity.  Coming to personally know our God and Savior, letting him touch our lives, find his purpose and live it out each and everyday.  Doing that with other fellow believers in a nutshell is Christianity.  Not the rules and regulations the church has spouted for generations.  We can never know, or achieve our destiny based on our merit.  Only by coming to know our designer, and following His direction for our lives can we ever truly “Be all we can be.”